A whimsical science fiction adventure novel, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy constitutes the first installment of a five-book trilogy by Douglas Adams. The story comes largely from a radio show that Adams compiled the scripts of to make the novel. Written in the late 1970s, the novel was a bestseller, and is still adored by many.
The book opens to show Mr. Arthur Dent being bothered by city council employees, who are attempting to seize Arthur's house to build a bypass. This turns out to not be that big of a deal, however, because as his friend, Ford Prefect, informs him, the entire world is being destroyed to make room for a intergalactic bypass. This is the first of several darkly humorous situations Dent finds himself journeying alongside Prefect, who turns out to be an alien himself, working to complete the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
Much of the novel revolves around scenarios that show how sincerely unimaginable the universe is, how strange are the things that exist (or might exist), and how ironic the human life is. This exploration of cosmic irony is part of why the book is regarded so highly, both as a dark comedy and as a quirky science fiction novel.